Spring-time Workshop with Wendy Schoen

Even though it’s only 29 °F in Minnesota today, we’re starting to think about Spring.  The sun is shining brightly, and the snow is melting a little for now.  This kind of day lets us know that Spring will be here in just a few weeks.  At the same time, we’re anticipating a great workshop with Wendy Schoen, of Wendy Schoen Designs, in April.


Wendy will join us at the Textile Center to teach the beautiful techniques that make up this dress, pictured above, from her wealth of talent and the many trips she has made to study at the Royal School of Needlework.

A few of our smocking chapter members have, in the past, attended classes with Wendy.  While they love taking classes with Wendy and are repeat attenders, they strongly recommend that anyone attending the two-day workshop prepare ahead, so as to get the most out of the time we’ll have with Wendy.  Therefore, our chapter is doing our homework.

We are each creating an 18″ doll’s dress that includes a Madeira Applique Hem and Shadow Work Embroidery in cotton batiste.  Our assignment this month is to prepare the skirt by applying the hem and seaming it with a french seam that includes a tiny placket.


Our next meeting is this Saturday, and one member will demonstrate the Point de Paris stitch that will put the Madeira hem in place.

I am fully expecting and looking forward to a critique on my Madeira applique hem.  That is part of the fun.  It’s possible that my top basting stitch should have been closer to the edge of the top scallop.  I also plan to run one more basting stitch along the bottom.  I may be told by my smocking friends that I should have clipped my curves and corners even more, or finger-pressed the scallops more intently.  I look forward to finding out what I could do better.  This is only the practice round.  We’ll continue to look at these techniques during our chapter meetings over the months prior to the workshop with our guest teacher.

For the April workshop, Wendy will bring class kits with her, which will include the material for a size 6-9 month dress.  I am looking forward to seeing, touching, feeling and working with the fabric that she recommends.  Attendees get to pick whether they want fabric in pink or white.  Those who pick white will have the option of working the shadow work embroidery in a contrasting floss.

If you have an interest in making a dress of this kind, I invite you to consider this workshop at the Textile Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on April 6 and 7.  Registration ends on March 2.

One correction on the temperature here:  It’s supposed to reach 35°F today!  Feels like Spring.


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